I’m not a particularly effective sleeper. That’s not to say that I have bad dreams, or even that, once I’ve snoozed off, that I can’t reap the benefits. It’s more to say that I don’t do a good job at getting the amount of sleep I like. Or a consistent amount at all.
While this is due to myriad factors, not a small one being an absurd desire to keep awake and doing ‘things’ even if those things are pointless, the main consequence of feeling exhausted is a lack of desire to write. The heavy-lifting my brain is averse to on normal days is exacerbated on tired ones. Like the weight is magnified to a degree where attempting to lift it is a daunting task.
I’ve mentioned time and again on this blog the various things that undercut my writing, and probably your’s too, and this is one of the largest factors. If I don’t have the energy to put words on the page, I’m not going to be getting any closer to finishing the novel.
All that being said, a couple of things I’ve found that help me meet the sandman faster:
- Reading on something that isn’t a screen. This means paper books or an e-reader (I have a Kindle Paperwhite). Neither of these shine a bright light like a phone, and don’t refresh their screens numerous times a second, causing me to stay awake.
- Stop the work earlier. Not necessarily writing, but if you’ve got a bunch of ideas percolating in your head when you lie down, it’s going to be hard to fall asleep any time soon. As such, the wind down is, for me, a key part of getting to sleep effectively. Which is why it sucks so hard when I forget to do it and the clock’s pushing midnight and I haven’t even brushed my teeth yet.
So, in continuing the quest for quality sleep, I’d do well to listen to myself. It’s just hard to turn off the devices that I’m addicted to. One more thing to improve, I suppose.